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Nottingham expertise in major European drug discovery partnership
Date:1/24/2013

om bench to bedside.

The new consortium, led by the German pharma company Bayer HealthCare and Leiden University in the Netherlands and involving a number of universities and SMEs, is entitled Kinetics for Drug Discovery (K4DD) and centres around the recent discovery that the length of time that a drug molecule is bound to proteins in the body may have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the medicine.

The Nottingham team, which also involves Dr Steve Briddon in Biomedical Sciences and Dr Barrie Kellam in the School of Pharmacy, will be bringing their expertise of fluorescent ligand technology to the project.

Investigating effectiveness

Their work centres on G protein-coupled receptors a group of around 400-500 proteins which are the most targeted group of proteins for current medicines. Around 30 per cent of current medicines target the group but currently only successfully use around 40 of the available proteins.

The Nottingham work will centre on new technologies to gain an insight into how the remainder of these targets could be exploited.

They will be using technology invented in Nottingham and the basis for the University spin-out company CellAura Technologies Ltd based in BioCity in which they label a drug molecule with a fluorescent chemical and then detect the light it gives off when interacting with receptors in the cell membrane using high-tech laser confocal microscopes and single molecule detection techniques (fluorescence correlation spectroscopy).

In this way they can observe the way in which drugs are binding and unbinding as it is happening which gives an accurate indication of how effective a drug is and how long its effects are likely to last.

As part of the consortium, Nottingham will be leading the way on the educational side devising training in research, business and communications skills for postdoctoral students from all over Europe, some of which will be base
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Contact: Emma Thorne
emma.thorne@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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